University Avenue in Autumn

University Avenue in Autumn

How well do you know ANU?

Throughout the past 70 years, ANU has seen its fair share of interesting and quirky events. Test out your knowledge with our true or false quiz below.


Throughout the past 70 years, ANU has seen its fair share of interesting and quirky events. Test out your knowledge with our true or false quiz below. Answers are at the foot of the page.


  1. Professor Brian Schmidt’s favourite children’s book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  1. ANU counts six Nobel Laureates among staff and alumni.
  1. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein met at Burgmann College.
  1. ANU broke two Guinness Book of Records stargazing records.
  1. Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) David Morrison AO studied a Bachelor of Arts at ANU.
  1. Sir Douglas Copland was appointed as the first ANU Vice-Chancellor.
  1. ANU Reporter was founded in 1956.
  1. Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett AM was a student at ANU when he joined the band.
  1. Iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart has been a guest lecturer for the ANU Master of Business Administration.
  1. Sullivans Creek once flowed between Melville Hall and Chifley Library.
  1. The ANU coat of arms has a boomerang on it.
  1. The Oarsome Foursome rowing team, who won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, met at the ANU Boat Club.
  1. The Coombs Building has 19 different levels within its three storeys.
  1. One of the Giant Sequoia trees on campus was grown from a seed from the largest tree in the world.
  1. ANU researchers reintroduced the eastern quoll to mainland Australia after more than 50 years.
  1. The first ANU Vice-Chancellor was one of the only two Australian ambassadors to visit pre-communist China.
  1. The oldest tree on campus is at least 300 years old.
  1. The week-long Aquarius festival in 1971 was documented into a film by acclaimed director Phillip Noyce.
  1. ANU is researching time travel.         
  1. ANU once had its own unit responsible for custom designing all furniture on campus.
  1. Kioloa Coastal Campus was a gift to ANU.
  1. Mount Stromlo’s Oddie Dome was the first Commonwealth building to be constructed in Canberra.
  1. The first Chancellor of ANU was a former Australian Prime Minister.
  1. ANU has one of the original copies of William Smith’s 1815 geological map of England, Scotland and Wales, known as ‘the map that changed the world.’
  1. Canberra’s 2XX FM began as Radio ANU in one of the wings of the Drill Hall Gallery.
  1. The School of Art building was originally the Canberra High School.
  1. Toad Hall was named after Mr Toad’s residence in The Wind in the Willows.
  1. The paths along University Avenue were built prior to a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, who could not be expected to walk on grass.
  1. The ANU Library has over 50km of shelf space in their off-site repository.
  1. Nirvana played a gig at the ANU Refectory in 1992.
  1. ANU is the only Australian university to be formed by an Act of Federal Parliament.
  1. In 1974, students stormed The Chancelry, demanding more student representation in the administration of the University.
  1. ANU Vice-Chancellor Anthony Low joined protestors at Parliament House following the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
  1. The four tree species planted along University Avenue represent a different season.
  1. Traditional landowners once used Sullivans Creek as a pathway through the landscape to locate the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee Rivers.
  1. Siding Spring Observatory was established because Canberra’s light pollution began to impact research at Mount Stromlo.
  1. ANU academics were asked to work on the design for Star Wars: The Force Awakens but declined.
  2. The ANU Quidditch team were used as extras for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie.
  3. More than 480 Indigenous students have graduated from ANU.
  1. The Tjabal Centre was officially opened in 1989.
  1. ANU researchers trained ducks to cross on pedestrian crossings.
  1. ANU researchers are working on tractor beams based on lasers and water waves.
  1. Sullivans Creek is a partly perennial stream of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray-Darling Basin.
  1. ANU researcher Dr Steve Lee developed a way of making lenses that can transform a smartphone into a high-resolution microscope. 
  1. There is a secret collection of comics in an ANU Library.
  1. Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan holds an Honorary Doctorate from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society for his work in conservation.
  1. Mount Stromlo Observatory was transformed into an optical munitions factory during the Second World War.
  1. ANU forensic scientists Ron Warrender and Milutin Stoilovic developed Unilite, which shows fingerprints against any background.
  1. The ANU Film Group is the longest running film group in Australia.
  1. The Australian National Dictionary Centre is housed at ANU.
  1. Sir Don Bradman AC studied ceramics at the ANU School of Art.
  1. Gough Whitlam stayed at University House after The Dismissal.
  1. Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela hold Honorary Doctorates from ANU.
  1. A 350-year-old book showcasing the tree-planting techniques used in 17th century England was donated to the Hancock Library.
  1. Actor Alan Alda visited ANU to launch a new political science school based on The West Wing.
  1. The ANU Archives spans 14km above Parkes Way.
  1. Sir David Attenborough has given lectures at ANU.
  1. There is a physics school at ANU that studies antimatter.
  1. Fusion experiments at ANU reach temperatures hotter than the core of the sun.
  1. Professor Bruce Chapman AM is the architect of the Australian Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS).
  1. Alumna Professor Megan Davis was the first Australian Indigenous woman elected to a United Nations body.
  1. While studying at ANU, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr won a bet by riding a horse from University House to Ainslie.
  1. Terrace Avenue was the original name of University Avenue.
  1. The Research School of Computer Science has a course on artificial intelligence.
  1. The Crawford School of Public Policy is named after English singer Michael Crawford.
  1. The ANU School of Music building was designed by Australian architects Daryl Jackson and Evan Walker.  
  1. Researchers at ANU coordinate and deliver the Australian Antarctic program.
  1. ANU is one of the ACT’s largest employers.
  1. ANU Chancellor Professor Gareth Evans AC QC presented Walkley Award to Peter Greste for most outstanding contribution to journalism.
  1. ANU is the host of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Australia Office.


Answers from How well do you know ANU?

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59-T 60-T 61-T 62-F 63-T 64-T 65-F 66-T 67-F 68-T 69-F 70-T